Extraction, Characterization, and Antioxidant Activity of Polysaccharides from Ajwa Seed and Flesh

Manel Dhahri*, Salim Sioud, Shuruq Alsuhaymi, Fatimah Almulhim, Ali Haneef, Abdelhamid Saoudi, Mariusz Jaremko, Abdul Hamid M. Emwas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The date palm has been cultivated in dry and hot areas of the planet for much of human history. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, dates are the main crop used as a source of food. Among several species of date fruits, the Ajwa AL-Madinah date is unique, growing only in Al-Madinah geographical region. The Ajwa date is used in traditional medicine due to its abundant active components and therapeutic properties. This study investigates the structural properties and the antioxidant effects of water-soluble polysaccharides extracted from Ajwa flesh and seed. The polysaccharides were isolated by two techniques including hot water and ultrasonic extraction. After isolation and partial purification, the physicochemical properties of four samples of polysaccharides extracted from flesh and seed were studied by several techniques including FTIR, solid-state NMR, elemental analysis, and mass spectrometry. Several radical scavenging experiments were combined to study the antioxidant activity of the polysaccharide compounds. FTIR and NMR results showed a structure typical of heterogeneous polysaccharides. Mass spectrometry revealed that the polysaccharide samples were composed mainly of mannose, glucose, galactose, xylose, arabinose, galacturonic acid, and fucose. In addition, the physicochemical properties and composition of polysaccharides extracted from flesh and seed were compared. The extracted polysaccharides showed antioxidant activity, with 2, 2′-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging, Fe chelating ability, hydroxyl free radical scavenging ability, and 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging. These results highlight their potential to be a useful nutritional element or supplemental medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Ajwa
  • antioxidant activity
  • date
  • date fruit
  • palm
  • polysaccharides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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